Mitch Epsteins new work is a series of photographs of the idiosyncratic trees that inhabit New York City. These pictures underscore the importance of trees to urban life and their complex relationship to their human counterparts. Rooted in New Yorks sidewalks, parks, and cemeteries, some trees grow wild, some are contortionists adapting to constrictive surroundings, while others are pruned into prize specimens. As urban development closes in on them, surprisingly, New Yorks trees continue to thrive. From 2011 to 2012, Epstein explored New Yorks five boroughs in search of remarkable trees, often returning to photograph the same trees through the changing seasons and light. Many of these trees, Epstein learnt, were planted in one contexta farm or nursery, for instanceand had survived to be part of another, a city street or public garden; and most will likely outlive us to find their habitat continue to change. The cumulative effect of these photographs is to invert peoples usual view of their city: trees no longer function as background, but instead dominate the human life and architecture around them. Born in 1952 in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Mitch Epstein is one of Americas most influential contemporary photographers and recipient of the 2011 Prix Pictet photography prize. Epsteins books at Steidl include Family Business (2003), Recreation: American Photographs 19731988 (2005), and American Power (2009) which won a Deutscher Fotobuchpreis gold medal in 2010.